Khalilah Ali Biography

Khalilah Ali is an American actor who is best known as one of the former wives of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family, personal life, etc.

Quick Facts

Birthday: March 17, 1950

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Age: 69 Years, 69 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Pisces

Also Known As: Khalilah Camacho Ali

Born in: Chicago, Illinois

Famous as: Actress


Spouse/Ex-: Antar Ali (m. 1984–1984), Muhammad Ali (m. 1967–1976), Rene Gonzalez Camacho (m. 1989–1993)

father: Raymond Boyd

children: Jamillah Ali, Maryum Ali, Muhammad Ali Jr., Rasheda Ali

City: Chicago, Illinois

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute

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Khalilah Ali is an American actor who is best known as one of the former wives of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Born and raised in an ardent religious Islamic family in Chicago, Khalilah attended Islamic schools as a child. Born Belinda Boyd, Khalilah met Muhammad for the first time when he was at the peak of his career and she was 10 years old. By the time she turned 17, her marriage was arranged with Muhammad Ali. Soon, Khalilah came to know about Muhammad’s uncontrollable sex addiction. Khalilah and Muhammad had a rocky marriage. She was constantly upset about Ali’s womanizing ways and his ignorance toward his kids. After staying with him for 10 years, Khalilah divorced Ali after his affair with another woman became public news. Khalilah married two more times in the 1980s, but got divorced shortly after. Khalilah has a ninth degree black belt in karate. She also acted in the 1979 film ‘The China Syndrome,’ also starring Jane Fonda and has appeared on the cover of ‘Ebony,’ a monthly magazine for African–American readers, seven times.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Khalilah Ali was born Belinda Boyd, in Chicago, on March 17, 1950. Her father, Raymond Boyd, was a Muslim scholar. Khalilah grew up in Chicago in a highly religious African–American household.
  • She grew up following the Muslim faith and attended Islamic schools in Chicago. By the time she was 10 years old, she had learned many teachings of Islam.
  • She met Muhammad Ali when she was 10 years old. At that time, he was known as “Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.” She took his autograph and told him that she did not like his name ‘Clay,’ as it reminded her of mud. She also tore the autograph afterward. It was said that after this brief encounter with the young girl, Muhammad decided to adopt a religious Muslim name.
  • Khalilah followed the Islamic faith ardently but refused to give up her freedom. She wanted to become an actor and was also good in sports. She started learning karate and ended up earning a ninth degree black belt.
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  • Khalilah had always wanted to act, and being married to Muhammad Ali presented her with many opportunities to come in front of the camera. In 1979, she made her acting debut with the film ‘The China Syndrome,’ which also starred Jane Fonda. The disaster film was one of the most-hyped films of the years and earned some good reviews.
  • Khalilah has also appeared on the cover of ‘Ebony,’ a magazine geared toward the African–American market, seven times. The life of former boxing legend Muhammad Ali remains to be a topic of intrigue for the public. Several documentaries have been made on his life, and Khalilah has appeared in many of them. She has often spoken about her turbulent married life with Muhammad and about how he was as a person.
  • She co-produced the documentary film ‘The Trails of Muhammad Ali,’ which offered an honest peak into the life of the boxer.
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Personal Life
  • Khalilah and Muhammad Ali’s marriage was arranged by Khalilah’s parents in 1967, when she was just 17 years old. Muhammad had been married once before his marriage to Khalilah. Following her marriage, Khalilah changed her name from “Belinda Boyd” to “Khalilah Ali.” The marriage took place on August 17, 1967.
  • Khalilah was too young to get married. She was initially scared to share a room with Muhammad but eventually became comfortable. At that time, she knew very little about Muhammad’s personal life and was not aware that he was a sex addict.
  • She stood by Ali during the most difficult times of his life. In March 1966, Ali had refused to enlist into the armed forces to fight in the Vietnam War. As a result, his boxing license was rejected and his passport was confiscated. From 1967 to 1970, Ali did not participate in any boxing match and fought a long battle against the American government, criticizing the Vietnam War and accusing the government of being racist.
  • During these struggles, Ali acknowledged the part Khalilah had played in his life. When he was allowed to box again in 1971, Khalilah was pregnant with twins. She had once described it as the happiest time of her life.
  • However, this happy time did not last too long. Ali’s womanizing ways became hard for Khalilah to handle. There also came a time when Ali manipulated Khalilah into accepting his lifestyle. Khalilah agreed, and at one point in time, she even booked hotel rooms so that Ali could spend time with his mistresses.
  • In 1974, Ali started an extramarital affair with a 16-year-old girl named Wanda Bolton. He later married Wanda while still being married to Khalilah. Wanda later converted to Islam and adopted a new name, “Aaisha Ali.” However, Khalilah did not have a big issue with the marriage. Khalilah even stayed with Aaisha at a training camp where Muhammad Ali brought his entire family.
  • Ali also had an affair with Patricia Harvell, with whom he fathered a child in 1972. He was also involved with Veronica Porsche in 1974. Khalilah later confronted Veronica, and this turned out to be the final wake-up call for Khalilah. She divorced him in 1977.
  • At the time of her divorce, she was a mother to four of Ali’s children: Maryum, Jamillah, Rasheda, and Muhammad Ali Jr. She also continued to criticize Ali publicly, saying that he was an absentee father.
  • Following her divorce from Muhammad Ali, Khalilah became a national celebrity. She also married twice in the 1980s, but none of the marriages could last for more than a few years and eventually ended in divorce.

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Last Updated
- December 24, 2018
Khalilah Ali

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